Keep the fire burning

Vartanama, Nov '16
In childhood I remember using an assortment of toys to construct entire cities complete with houses, offices, markets, hospitals and roads busy with humans, animals and cars. Some of these ‘urban sprawls’ would take up half the living room floor. In winters, they would be spread over hills and mountains created with pillows and blankets on the bed.

Just when I would be preening over my creation or showing it off to my parents, my elder brother would zoom in with war planes and bombard the entire city with wooden blocks and sundry other such weapons! I would half protest but then join in on the fun because it was all in good humour. In fact, there would be times I would destroy my own handiwork as part of winding up play time and quite enjoy doing so.

Memory analysis can be deeply flawed, but did my pleasure in creating and destroying (and continuing the cycle) stem from an inherent sense of power? Was it the same enjoyment of invincibility that would make me destroy an anthill or disturb a stream of black ants and gloat over the trouble and flurry this caused?

Is this the same sense of entitlement that inspires many leaders to secretly or brazenly ‘enjoy’ the immense power they wield over people, policies and resources? A dangerously warped sensibility that they can tower over everyone and decide peoples’ fates on a whim or fancy?

Thankfully, such kinds of leaderships never go unchallenged by those that seek to protect and empower people against tyranny, prejudice, insidious exclusion, criminal neglect or privileged sloth.

And so this issue of Varta is about calling out on our privileges and oppressions, urging parents to instil a broader view of the world in their children, demanding that the rights of persons with disabilities be honoured through due process, celebrating queerness in an increasingly stifling environment – social and physical . . .

It is about believing that we can change ourselves and the world!

Photo credit: Pawan Dhall (authorship of accompanying text unknown).

Author Photo

Pawan Dhall

Pawan Dhall aspires to be a rainbow journalist and believes in taking a stand, even if it’s on the fence – the view is better from there!

Comments So Far

  • Image Udita Dhall 24-11-2016 | Reply

    Inspiring! 👊😊

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  • Image Partha Bonerjee 26-11-2016 | Reply

    Your observation makes sense. It is true that in our childhood too we enjoyed the "creation " and " un-doing" our creation, ( rather than destruction) well to make another design or another configuration. Probably our inherent creativity also pushes us to sometimes "un-do" the present and create the future. Probably nature itself sometimes undertakes to destroy and re-create, and we get to see its power. After all all of us are created out of nature. I remember a line from mathew Arnold in his poem " This World Is Too Much With Us " Mr Arnold had written " getting and spending we lay waste our powers ". You have brought out a great truth in a very simple manner. Great.

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